iOS iMessage Effects Not Working? Here’s Why & How to Fix
iMessage effects are pretty dramatic, so when they’re working they’re impossible to miss when they are exchanged between iOS devices. If you’re finding that Messages effects are not working on the iPhone or iPad, there’s probably a really simple reason why, and an equally simple fix available.
First things first, realize that iMessage Effects require iOS 10 or newer, that can be iOS 13, iPadOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, iOS 10, or later, and anything in between. You therefore must have a modern version of iOS on the iPhone or iPad to have iMessage Effects.
For some quick background, the Messages app in iOS 10 and newer includes full-screen visual effects, ranging from a bunch of balloons, to fireworks, lasers, confetti, and a shooting star. Additionally, there are other visual effects that apply to text and images, which make the messages slam onto the screen, appear larger, smaller, or show up with an invisible ink feature. All of these visual effects are new to iOS 10 (and later of course) and work on the iPhone and iPad… or they should anyway.
Why Message Effects Aren’t Working in iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11, iOS 10
For the vast majority of users, the reason iMessage screen effects and bubble message effects are not working is because they have the Reduce Motion setting enabled. The Reduce Motion setting in iOS, which does away with the zipping and zooming animations that fly around the operating system when opening and closing apps, is also the only way to turn off iMessage effects.
The other more obvious reason iMessage effects may not be working is if the device you’re on is not actually using iOS 10. For example, if you didn’t update to iOS 10 yet, or you downgraded afterwards, then you won’t have the feature.
Fixing iMessage Effects Not Working in iOS 13, iOS 10, iOS 11, iOS 12
The simple solution to get Messages screen effects working is to disable Reduce Motion setting:
- Open the “Settings” app and go to “Accessibility” and then to “Reduce Motion”
- Turn the Reduce Motion setting to OFF and then exit out of settings
Now if you go to Messages and send a message with a long tap on the blue arrow button, you should be able to access the various screen effects and bubble effects.
It’s a little disappointing that for now you can’t have system-wide Reduce Motion enabled while still experiencing Message effects. Hopefully a future version of iOS fixes this and gives a separate iMessage option to disable or enable the Messages effect features without impacting all other visual animations on the iPhone or iPad.
Message Effects Still Not Displaying?
If you have Reduce Motion off and iMessage effects still aren’t working, try the following:
- Quit Messages and launch it again (double-tap home button and swipe up on the Messages app)
- Force reboot the iPhone or iPad (hold down the Power and Home button until you see the Apple logo)
- Turn iMessage OFF and back ON again through Settings > Messages
- Disable 3D Touch (if applicable to your iPhone) by going to Settings > General > Accessibility > 3D Touch > OFF
Some mixed reports also indicate that restoring a device from a backup can work too if all else fails.
Did you get Messages effects working on your iPhone or iPad with iOS 13, iPadOS 13, iOS 10, iOS 12, or iOS 11? Let us know in the comments below.